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iRacing Guide: Acura ARX-06 GTP

Rounding out iRacing’s 2023 GTP roster is the Acura ARX-06. Compared to the BMW M Hybrid V8, Cadillac V-Series.R and Porsche 963, the ARX-06 requires a unique driving style, bringing both positives and negatives.

The Acura ARX-06 GTP is the first generation of prototype racing cars designed by Honda Performance Development for the Le Mans Daytona h (LMDh) regulations used since the 2023 season of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. LMDh vehicles must have a minimum weight of 1030 kg and a maximum of 500 kW combined power from the engine and hybrid system, which makes them the fastest class in the championship. IMSA refers to this class as the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP).

In the 2023 IMSA season, the Acura ARX-06 races in the GTP class alongside the BMW M Hybrid V8, the Cadillac V-Series and the Porsche 963. Two other manufacturers, Alpine and Lamborghini, plan to enter this series in 2024. Let’s learn more about iRacing’s interpretation of the ARX-06.

Introducing the Acura ARX-06 GTP

The Acura ARX-06 GTP debuted in the 2023 Daytona 24 Hours with Wayne Taylor Racing (car #10) and Meyer Shank Racing (car #60) teams. The car proved reliable and competitive, securing a race win in Daytona and being in contention for the constructors’ championship during the 2023 season.

The car was added to iRacing in the 2023 Season 4 together with the Porsche 963 for 12.95 USD. After this release, iRacing includes all GTP cars of the 2023 IMSA season – an exciting proposition if you enjoy racing the fastest prototypes in multiclass championships.

The Basic Car Characteristics

The Acura ARX-06 GTP is powered by a 2.4-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 internal combustion engine and an electric motor generator unit with a battery pack to store electric power. The power produced by the hybrid powertrain is delivered to the rear axle.

All GTP class cars produce massive aerodynamic downforce, so they are the most efficient in medium and high-speed corners, like Formula 1 or Super Formula cars also in iRacing. Another common feature with modern open-wheel cars is the electrical energy recovery system (ERS) management. To maximise race pace, you must balance power deployment from the electric motor generator unit with electrical power regeneration during braking.

Steering and Cornering

The Acura is the most responsive GTP class car in iRacing. Compared to the BMW and the Porsche, it has a very reactive front, and you will need only a little steering angle to turn. This feature can be an advantage on smaller circuits, but the car is a little more challenging to handle because it tends to oversteer at the corner entry.

Therefore, the Acura encourages smooth driving, minimal trail braking, and a gentle turn-in. The car likes a low rake for rear stability on the corner entry and good exit speed. Besides, you should keep the differential value low to not hinder the natural strengths of this car in the corners.

Power Delivery

The power delivery of the turbocharged V6 engine is predictable and has no turbo lag. With the low differential values, you must be smooth with the throttle during the early acceleration phases to avoid rear wheel spin and oversteer.

The car also has an advanced traction control (TC) system, where you can adjust slip (TC1) and gain (TC2) settings. TC1 determines how much wheel slip is allowed before electronics restrict engine power delivery. The TC2 is the amount of intervention by traction control when wheel spin specified by the TC1 is detected. Higher values mean more aggressive throttle cuts.

It is also crucial to manage ERS deployment efficiently. Thankfully, you do not need to deploy electrical energy manually (like in many Formula cars). You only have to select an appropriate energy deployment map. Five ERS maps are available with self-explanatory names: No Deploy, Qual, Attack, Balanced and Build. In the race, you will spend most of the time on the Balanced map with occasional switches to the Attack map for overtakes.

Braking

As a GTP class car, the Acura does not have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), so you must be smooth and precise with braking to avoid tyre lock-ups. Overall, the Acura brakes very well and is the best-performing car in the GTP class under braking. Remember that the rear can step out when you trail brake too much on the turn entry.

Aerodynamics

The Acura ARX-06 GTP generally lacks top speed compared to other GTP cars and may not be the best choice for high-speed circuits such as Daytona, Indianapolis or Le Mans. However, it is possible to use lower wing settings than the BMW or the Cadillac to mitigate the issue with top speed.

  • To study how to handle this car on track in more detail, why don’t you take a look at one of our iRacing Lap Guides on the Coach Dave Academy YouTube channel, such as this one at Fuji:

Where You Can Race It

As of September 2023, the number of championships for the Acura ARX-06 GTP is limited. You can participate in three IMSA championships (sprint open setup, sprint fixed setup, endurance) and the Global Endurance Pure Driving School Tour. All series use the same cars split between three classes: GTP (Acura, BMW, Porsche and Cadillac), LMP2 (Dallara) and GT3 (Lamborghini, Audi, Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW and Porsche), all of which you can find setups for now as part of our iRacing Setup Subscription.

B licence

The B licence opens access to two endurance championships: the IMSA Endurance Series and the Global Endurance Pure Driving School Tour.

In the IMSA Endurance Series, races last 160 minutes and you can enter them as a team of one driver, essentially running as an individual entry. Races occur only on weekends, with three slots on Saturday (2:00, 7:00 and 18:00 GMT) and one on Sunday (14:00 GMT). The calendar includes only circuits in the United States (Indianapolis, Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen, Sebring, Road America and Daytona to name a few).

If you prefer to race on the European or Asian circuits, the Global Endurance Pure Driving School Tour is more suitable. Races in this series last 6 hours, and you must enter as a team of at least two drivers. Races are scheduled only on Saturday (7:00 and 18:00 GMT) and Sunday (14:00 GMT).

A licence

Drivers with the A licence are eligible to run in the IMSA iRacing Series that uses an open or fixed setup. Races last 45 and 35 minutes, respectively, and include up to 50 drivers on the grid. All 12 circuits used in these championships are paid DLCs, which cost 15.95 USD each. Races take place once every 2 hours.

  • To help you gain the edge in the open setup IMSA iRacing Series, professional engineers in Coach Dave Academy have developed a setup pack for the Acura ARX-06 GTP that covers all circuits used in the 2023 Season 4.

Final Thoughts

The Acura ARX-06 GTP certainly has a character among four GTP cars in iRacing. You must be precise and smooth with braking, steering and throttle application to get the most out of it. With the current balance of performance, the BMW M Hybrid V8 still looks like the fastest car overall. But the Acura can set competitive lap times on circuits that require high and medium downforce.

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